Over the last 10 years, I've collected love notes and hate mail from my kids. This one, from 2008, shows Ethan really mad at me. I responded with a picture and words attempting to help him understand why I was frustrated, but more importantly that I loved him. 

We've always encouraged our children to share their feelings openly and honestly because we believe that is the foundation to long-term trust and understanding. This is Ethan laying it all down - which I both appreciated and admired. 

These letters, no matter the tone, make my heart swell with love for my family.

I have some very tender messages from Mitch that I will share soon - but I thought to share this message between Ethan and myself because it made me chuckle and it sparked a sweet interaction with Mitch. 

When Mitch saw this note exchange at church he tugged at my arm and whispered, "Dad, just so you know, I still wuv you." I smiled and kissed his forehead and thought to myself, "One day you'll be really mad at me and think you hate me ... but I'll love you anyway. I'll love you always."

With a few more notes back and forth, Ethan and I were back to a good place.

Family: if I lost everything I own but still had them, I'd have everything I ever wanted.